Themed entertainment doesn’t guarantee the success of a project. A themed entertainment project is subject to all the same rules as a non-themed entertainment project in terms of what will result in a successful buildout and a successful operation.
A themed entertainment project has to be sufficiently funded at the start, which entails putting together a good team and gathering good information. Proper estimates of material and labor costs, accurate assessment of the time it will take to build, realistic attendance projections based on market studies, a good feasibility analysis, a marketing plan and an understanding of what the project needs for good operations and customer service once it has opened are all key elements of a successful themed entertainment project.
A project manager who has themed entertainment experience is an important element. Location of the themed entertainment project is critical. A themed entertainment project can be the best in the world but if it sits in a low-density metropolitan area that gets little tourism, failure may be on the horizon. There has to be very good justification that in such a situation the themed entertainment project will become a destination that fuels a new tourism boom in the area. Culturally, a themed entertainment project has to be suitable for the local demographics as well. Themed entertainment properties in parts of the Middle East, for example, have to be built to accommodate the cultural norms of the region, which can be very different from Western cultural practices.
Creature comforts can’t be overlooked in a themed entertainment project. If the themed entertainment destination is beautifully designed and has an exciting concept and is well located it can still fall down if there are insufficiencies in such areas as restrooms, food and beverage, shady areas, public seating, accessibility, parking and transit options and of course customer service. People don’t suspend their physical and psychological requirements just because a property includes themed entertainment.
Image: an image from the fulldome production Sonic Vision
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